Category Archives: vatican

Down the Lenten homestretch! 

Holy Week… how you all doing?

Our lenten challenges, sacrifices, and goals come to an end or continue past Easter???

I don’t know about you, but outside of the physical, my spiritual sacrifice has been difficult to conquer!

I notice that the challenge depends who I’m with. There are those that don’t put me in a spot to gossip and then there are those that provoke it. Yet either way, I’m the only one accountable.

There’s also that fine line. The white lie that tells you…”it’s ok, you’re not doing any harm speaking these things.”

I even find myself tip toeing around it. Like “oh as long as I don’t go there I’m ok and still will be able to get my point across.”

There’s also the hit over the head later reaction. Out of nowhere, it comes to you on something  said that I immediately feel regret and ask the Lord to forgive me.

So with this Lent drawing to an end, are you feeling triumphant or defeated?

I guess I feel neither. I’m better at being mindful but I’m nowhere perfect! 

I have to do better in offering my day to Lord along with prayer and daily readings. The more I involve our Lord into my day, the better off I am. In being shielded from speaking things I need to shut my mouth about.


There is a quote from I don’t know who said it but it’s relative to the 8th commandment “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor”. It says your words about another should be encouraging and not destructive.

Gossip is so easy to do. Hard for me to not say something when I’m angry with someone in how they’re treating others and I feel like I need to vent it out! It’s like a false remedy. If I say something I’ll feel better. Instead what you’re doing is adding to the darkness that already exists! Gossip can cause others to fall into the trap and sin too.

So on this Monday of Holy Week, I hope and pray that the goodness you gained in this Lent continues to grow strong. That any amount of virtue gained, points to Jesus.  May your Easter be blessed and rich in His presence. And don’t forget HIS MERCY ENDURES FOREVER!+++

National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception – Washington, D.C.

My family and I were blessed to visit Washington, D.C. several times. Due to an event that honored my Dad’s rehabilitation story.  During these trips we were able to see a couple of their parishes.

This one is the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

The exterior is grand. I think this is the first basilica I’ve been to in the States where it reminded me of cathedrals in Europe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They had just completed a renovation.  This ceiling was redone in mosaic tiles.

 

 

 

 

 

This is a pieta located in their crypt of former bishops I believe.

This chapel is located on the same floor of the crypt.  I was able to attend Mass here with my family. Just beautiful.  I actually loved this design more than the main floor.

 

 

 

 

 

During our walks in D.C., my sister and I found this parish.  It was during an off time/week day but always happy when the front doors are open.

From the outside which seemed dark was nothing compared to the inside.  Was delighted to see the stained glass and organ pipes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Time in D.C. is always fun. To find old parishes like this one along walks to dinner or ice cream are always my favorite finds.

 

San Juan Capistrano Mission – San Juan Capistrano, California

Thanks to my cousin who showed me the Mission.

In my stays in San Clemente, I was blessed to be shown around the other beach towns from family.  One spot that I always try to go to to this day is San Juan Capistrano.

Over the years it has changed, but one thing that hasn’t is the Mission and its properties.  It’s great because you can pay a small fee and tour the old mission and see how St. Junipero Serra founded this mission. Not only did he find the San Juan Capistrano mission, but also eight other missions throughout California.

The property is gorgeous and once you are within the walls that surround the mission, it feels like you are taken back in time. It is filled with beautiful gardens and sounds of nature.

Outside of the Mission, are eateries and shopping. Strolling about, gives me that sense of Rome.

This is a statue of Junipero Serra in front of the basilica.

Altar

This is a niche with Saint Juan Diego.

Outside, back of basilica, are the ruins of the original mission.

To think this is where the main altar was. You can see it probably included small statues within its wall.

Mass is still celebrated in this chapel. I’m guessing it holds about 50??

The look and feel of this mission is just peaceful.  When walking through the gardens, you get the coastal air. I could sit there for hours.  There is also a gift shop that carries many beautiful handmade religious items.

San Juan Cap is definitely where I like to go each time I get to Orange County.

Here is more information on the Mission and Basilica.

http://www.missionparish.org/

 

St Peter’s Basilica – Rome, Italy

I have been blessed to see St. Peter’s twice. I wish I had taken better pictures or knew how to work my camera, but I think you can still receive what I captured. I like to take pictures of areas of the church that are not typically photographed. Well, at least what I’ve come across.

They said on the tour, the lettering that is in the gold trim is about 7 feet in height.

We were told the altar weighs 9 tons. All in bronze.

Altar of the Holy Spirit made out of alabaster

Inside St. Peter’s there are “mini” altars where Mass is given on each side leading to the main altar.

Pieta. Protected by thick glass due to someone who tried to destroy it. This was the closest I could get to it.

Outside the basilica walls…

My reaction to St. Peter’s was I can’t get enough. There is so much to take in and I know even though I have seen it twice, I know I missed so much. Really, St. Peter’s is what you would expect to represent our faith. Grandeur, peace (even among thousands squirming around you), profundity, and such thoughts that make you think of all the years the Church has had. How many people/pilgrims have visited this holy place??? I hope to see it again!

Please check the ‘Church Beauty’ tab for other parishes visited.